Fury at decision to execute man with learning disabilities
In the early hours of yesterday morning (29 March) morning, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, a man with intellectual disabilities on death row in Singapore, lost his fight in court against his execution. The courts may have rejected his appeal, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong could still save him. Nagen still needs this community to keep fighting for a life-saving pardon. The decision has received world wide condemnation. Singapore does not have a favourable human rights record and uses repressive laws against political opponents and human rights defenders. Human Rights Watch describes the country’s political environment at ‘overwhelmingly repressive’ with severe restrictions on free expression, association and assembly.
Nagaenthran claims he was coerced into carrying a package of heroin but that he was unaware of the contents. The UN has said the sentence is disproportionate and no allowance had been made by the authorities for his disabilities. His IQ is said to be 69.
In the 48 hours before his hearing, over 4,000 people made their voices heard and tweeted Lee Hsien Loong asking for Nagen to be spared. Only the Singaporean government can save him now, should they decide to show compassion and grant him a pardon that will spare his life.
Because of your support, Nagen is not standing alone in his fight for his life. For details and how you can help follow this link to the Reprieve site.
We include a link to a video of an interesting talk by Kirsten Han on the subject of the death penalty in Singapore.
Sources: Amnesty; Guardian; Reprieve; Human Rights Watch.